The 2021 Atlantic Beach MLK Community Service Award selectees are Atlantic Beach police Sgt. Jimmy Hundley, Jacksonville City Council Vice President Sam Newby, and Rhoda L. Martin Cultural Heritage Center President Lillie Sullivan.
The three were honored in a ceremony that was video-recorded rather than held in person due to the ongoing public health emergency. The celebration was held at Triumph Apostolic Faith Church; The Birds of Fire produced the event and video, which can viewed here.
Samuel C. “Sam” Newby is a native of Jacksonville. He graduated from Raines High School and earned his undergraduate degree from Edward Waters College. He currently serves as Vice-President of the Jacksonville City Council, where he is an At-Large Councilman who is elected by and who serves the Beaches community.
Sam's servant heart has been on display through both his corporate and community leadership. He spent his professional career at PepsiCo and has been actively involved in the community for over 30 years. An example of his community service is that Sam coached recreation sports at the Johnson Family YMCA for several years and also served as its Chair. As a motivator and mentor, he turned around the lives of several “at-hope” youths who have gone on to become successful in life.
Sam was elected to the Jacksonville City Council in May 2015, and he has been a strong advocate for Atlantic Beach. With his passion, commitment and experience, he has focused on promoting local business and education. His strategy includes safer communities, more job opportunities, fighting blight and neglect, improved infrastructure, quality neighborhood schools, and protecting “at-hope” youth.
Sam has been the recipient of several accolades for his work with youth and in the community. Through all his accomplishments, Sam is a humble man who takes pride in being a man who has a strong relationship with God. Sam is the husband to Sheila, a proud father of four and a doting grandfather of eleven.
Lillie Jean Sullivan is a native of Jacksonville Beach, and she has long served the Beaches community, to include Atlantic Beach. She graduated from Fletcher High School and attended Florida Junior College in Jacksonville before earning her degree in Business Administration from Jones Business College in Jacksonville.
Lillie is retired from the Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville, after 30 years of dedicated service.She currently serves as President of the Jacksonville Beach Elementary Preservation Fund Inc. This organization is the legal arm of the Rhoda L. Martin Cultural Heritage Center. She is beloved by the people at the beaches for her selfless, tireless work with the Center in promoting a preserving the rich history of the beaches and its people. She has worked on projects with Atlantic Beach, most recently the commemoration of Sgt. Leroy Everett, Jr.
Lillie's passion and love for helping others through her community is well known. She is a member of St. Andrew AME Church. She has been awarded numerous accolades, such as Friend of the Beaches Award sponsored by the Beaches Watch, The Beach Legends Award sponsored by the Beaches Area Historical Society and the Community Service Award sponsored by The Women of Color Cultural Foundation.
Through her vision, the Beaches community now looks forward to and celebrates the birth and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Insofar as she has worked on events related to Dr. King behind the scenes, it is fitting that she receives this community service award.
Born in Miami, Jimmy D. Hundley’s life has been dedicated to public service. We are fortunate that he found Atlantic Beach, where we know him as Sergeant (Sgt.) Hundley, a 20-year veteran of the Atlantic Beach Police Department (ABPD). His service for the Beaches community and our City – and his kind heart for our residents and those in need - is on display every day.
Jimmy earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice, and he went on earn a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.). He completed many hours toward a Ph.D. in business, but the call of public service took his life and career in another direction. His public service included service in the U.S. Army, and we thank him for his military service. He later worked with the Department of Juvenile Justice before joining the ranks of the ABPD in 1999.
With the ABPD, he has held positions and trained in these areas: a Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Investigations, Neighborhood Watch, De-escalation, Report Writing, Emergency Vehicle Operations, Defensive Tactics, Field Training Officer, First Aid, Police Academy Instructor, and General Instructor. He is respected by his peers. As one example of his career commendations, he received a Lifesaving Award in 2018 for saving a suicidal subject who was preparing to jump off the Mayport Flyover. It is important to noted that Jimmy is known for his support of youth in our City and helping to divert them, when possible, from making bad decisions. He is trusted person in authority who serves as a great role model in our community.
Jimmy is a humble leader and public servant who gives much and asks nothing in return. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, motorcycles, travel, and sports. He is a devoted family man to Tracy, and his three adult children Brittany, Jimmy Jr., and Jared.